My name is Teacher Desmona and I teach beginning American Sign Language (ASL) at our St. James site. This is my second year returning and I'm looking forward to having fun with ASL this year with your kids and families!
This week we covered basic greetings, introductions, and personal identity. Giving and receiving this kind of information is very important in Deaf Culture and we will spend a couple of weeks going over this kind of conversation practice. We reviewed the manual alphabet and some numbers. We also played some fun games this week - 4 Corners, Red Light/Green Light/Yellow Light (both popular requests) and Alphabet Bingo. The last couple days of the week we did an illustration activity and created folders to put our classwork into.
Here's what we covered: vocab and ASL grammar
You name what?
My name _______. (fingerspell name)
I __#__. (number is placed by chin and brought down like sign for old)
You boy, girl which?
I boy. -or- I girl.
You live where?
I live Davis. -or- I live Woodland.
(city names are fingerspelled first then signed)
Nice to-meet you.
A typical day is my classroom goes as follows:
Each morning I like to start with a Daily Exercise where we cover the week number, the date, *fingerspelling class names, and days of the week. I ask what was Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow to practice weekdays. Following that I like to do what I call a Warm Up activity. These activities are repeated throughout the year to enforce knowledge and skill in particular categories. Alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes, and animals will be common Warm Up categories. Next we move onto the Lesson. I usually write down the vocab and grammar on the white board of what will be covered that day. I have a few different ways to approach how we review the lessons, depending on the category. Finally, we do an activity or play a game using the signs we have just practiced. This ranges from physical activity to a more tame folder activity. And lastly, at the end of the class we review a Parting Phrase which can range from a simple goodbye to signing a full sentence.
I like to encourage the students to use their voices as little as possible and use their hands as much as possible. Its good practice for everyone, even the teachers!
Also, I always prepare for a Plan B activity - just in case. :)
This week I sent home copies of the manual alphabet. Please practice at home and I encourage you to make flashcards for improving their fingerspelling.
I had a wonderful first week and look forward to the rest of the year!